Chaos, Thermodynamics and Baseball


Ever since I learned the second law of thermodynamics, I’ve been a bit obsessed with it. It states that entropy of an isolated system can never decrease. Of course the question of what the fuck entropy is remains.

noun \ˈen-trə-pē\
plural en·tro·pies
Definition of ENTROPY
: a measure of the unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system that is also usually considered to be a measure of the system’s disorder, that is a property of the system’s state, and that varies directly with any reversible change in heat in the system and inversely with the temperature of the system; broadly : the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system
a : the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity
b : a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder
: chaos, disorganization, randomness
— en·tro·pic adjective
— en·tro·pi·cal·ly adverb

If we can get a bit philosophical about it, if left to its own devices the world tends towards chaos and disorder. It takes energy to keep atoms together. Once bonds are broken, it’s really hard to put them back together.

Take, for example, a glass. Once you drop it and break it into pieces, they don’t come back together. Unless you melt the glass back down and reform it into shape and yadda yadda yadda, it stays in pieces. It’s more than happy to stay in pieces.

It is in our nature to control things, to bring things into order. Take how we have a tendency to name things. How, instead of actual democracy where one person gets one vote, we have turned it into a republic just to cut down on the chaos. How we have legal codes to avoid pure anarchy.

So, as someone who would like to fashion himself a rebel, I root for chaos. Who am I to deny the world its entropy? I love chaos and revel when those in authority get pie on their face.

This is a very long-winded way of me saying that I was rooting for a four-team tiebreak in the American League. Jon Morosi wrote about the possibility a week or two ago. Can you imagine if we were sitting here today awaiting the Royals-Tigers Game 163 for the AL Central crown?

I’ll admit I was disappointed when the possibility for this four-way tie evaporated. I’m still disappointed that we’re not sitting here waiting for some Game 163s.

But I’m excited for this postseason nonetheless. I don’t know if I have a rooting interest in any of the teams. I guess I do lean towards the Dodgers mostly because I am familiar with them. Perhaps the Royals and Pirates since I predicted they would make the World Series (which I do feel simultaneously overjoyed and appalled that this is still a possibility.)